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Sales negotiation is eternally and constructively tied to consultative selling. So, we must always be very mindful of the power and strength of long-term, trusted, businesses relationships. Armor-piercing questions in their various forms must not be seen as anything other than a positive risk tool used to clarify our bargaining position and that of our negotiation partner.
Sales Prospecting is sustenance for any business, where growth is required and account turnover is nothing more than a fact of life. Sales Prospecting is the precursor to consultative selling and sales negotiation. These three sales disciplines are permanently bolted together and reliant on each other. No company owns a piece of business in our 24/7, global world of unrelenting competition.
The Bonus Round
If you are reading, “The Bonus Round Corporate Sales Lessons & Strategy”, you are either a corporate sales warrior or you are interested in leveling-up to corporate sales. From 1980 to 2007 I was in corporate sales in one form or another. My chosen field of sales was the media business selling daily and community newspaper products. I sold to the vast majority of North America’s largest retailers and advertising agencies. Big money was at play. Anytime big money is at play there is enormous opportunity and enormous pressure.
The truth is if you are average in the corporate sales world, the only thing that can save you is a sellers’ market where there are too many buyers of a product and not enough sellers. This is how corporate sales operated from about 1950 to 2000. After this time period the Internet and Social Media changed everything. From about 2000 and onward, anyone in any part of the world could compete with you without you even knowing. We must all be prepared for intense competition and change because it is inevitable.
Corporate sales is huge fun, exciting, and even breath-taking at times. I was selling across every time zone in Canada and I could not get enough of it. The companies that I worked for were open to new ideas around how products were packaged and incentivized for large customers. This just made my chili boil. I relished the idea of being able to help gigantic customers in creative ways, while helping my company’s stakeholders hit their objectives and targets. The speed and urgency was mind boggling. It was just crazy, insane, rip the skin off the ball fun!
Working in corporate sales for The Toronto Star, The Southam Newspaper Group, Hollinger Inc. and CanWest Media was like playing for the New York Yankees every day. I am not a huge baseball fan but, I would visualize what it was like to walk on to the Yankees baseball field. It is a bold, powerful, enlightened feeling. It made me tingle a bit. That is corporate sales at its finest.
I hope as you read the lessons and strategies in,” The Bonus Round”, you will take some ideas from these pages and reshape them to work for your corporate sales mission. Ideas never get old. Ideas are our true north. Integrity is our true north. Thinking with a furtive mind is true north. Having grit and guts is our true north. Now, let’s unpack some ideas and lessons that will help you sell to whale-sized accounts. We are talking Yankee Stadium whale-sized accounts. Let’s giddy up!
Go out of your way to know your customers and their competitors as well or better than they do. In my first two books “Unlocking Yes the Revised Edition” and “Perpetual Hunger” I refer to this as reconnaissance. Recon is your responsibility and a must. If you don’t think like a corporate customer insider, you will be treated as a commoditized outsider.